Three quarters of pet owners are planning to go on holiday with their pets this year, national pet charity Blue Cross has revealed
Research has revealed 76 of UK dog or cat owners have chosen to take a holiday in the UK simply so they can bring their beloved four-legged friends away with them more easily.
When they were asked about the barriers to travelling with their pets, the survey found 47 per cent of cat or dog owners feel travelling abroad is too expensive with an animal, while 54 per cent are worried about the potential of their four-legged friend getting hurt while travelling on a plane or ferry. Instead, 84 per cent of people who would take their pet on holiday will travel via car too.
Pet owners who do wish to take their animal away with them are being advised to avoid aeroplanes and ferries, unless the ferry company will permit pets to stay with their owners. However, pets should never be left unattended in a car or anywhere else when they travel regardless of how short the journey is, as dogs and cats are able to deteriorate in minutes and risk fatality.
Mark Bossley, Chief Vet at London's Victoria animal hospital said: "We’re a nation of pet lovers so it’s no surprise that lots of people choose to go on holiday with their pets. We need to make sure that the four-legged members of the family are travelling safely and are happy, as there can be risks involved when travelling with them."
"All pet owners must make sure their dog is safely clipped into a car harness seatbelt or in a travel crate and cats in a secure cat carrier. Always make sure you have lots of water for yourself and your pets, take breaks if on long journeys, and never leave your pet in the car unattended as this can be fatal very quickly. One of the biggest threats to pets is heatstroke when in a car so stay with them, lots of ventilation is key and keep an eye on them to make sure they’re looking happy and healthy, so everyone can enjoy the holiday."
It was typically found that amongst the dog and cat owners who would choose a holiday based on their pet, countryside holidays would be the most popular (60 per cent).
There are a wide number of walks to take your dog on in the countryside, but you will need to remember that this includes the danger to livestock. The charity is also advising dog walkers to keep their four-legged friends on the lead when they are near farm animals as owners are obliged under the law to keep their pets under control, so they don't disturb animals or wildlife.
They will also need to be kept on short leads in most areas too when they're in open country and common land, otherwise known as access land, between 1 March and 31 July when they're nesting.
You can find out more about travelling safely with pets in the summer here: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/summer-survival-guide-pets